How to Introduce New Chickens to the Current Flock

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Now, I’m sure that there’s folks out there who will tell you the right and wrong ways on how to introduce new chickens to the current flock.

Recently, my very sweet and thoughtful husband picked up six new hens to add to my chicken collection.

He’s totally an enabler, you guys. What a guy I have over here! But I know he secretly loves them as much as I do.

Did you know that your new chickens should be kept in a bit of a quarantine to ensure they are healthy before introducing them to new flock?

I’m just going to share a few ways that things go down on our homestead when we bring new chicks home.

one of the new hens standing next to a fence

How to Introduce New Chickens to the Current Flock

So if you’re anything like me, you are always adding new chickens (or baby chicks) to your current flock. Our chickens serve many purposes, but I also love adding in new interesting breeds when I find them.

Introducing them to our current flock isn’t super hard or complicated.

But doing a few, simple steps keeps all of our chickens happy, healthy, and safe.

Keep New Chickens Separated From Current Flock

The very first step that we take when we bring new chickens to our farm is to quarantine them. I want to ensure that the new chicks or hens are healthy before I introduce them to our current flock.

Whether its an illness, mites, or lice, it might not always be visible or noticeable initially. I like to take the time to monitor the new additions and give them health checks prior to starting introductions.

We set up a fenced in pen and make a small run for a few days before we start with our next steps.

two small hens standing next to a fence

Slowly Make Introductions

After examining them and if they pass the initial health checks, we start to work towards getting them acquainted with our current flock.

The next step that we do before we make introductions is to set up a separate small run and temporary housing.

Usually this looks like an electric fence and small building that we have available for night time shelter.

And sometimes we use things like a calf hut that we rigged for chicken safety. Work with what you’ve got!

temporary chicken shelter with electric fence

This set up allows both of the new and old chickens to get to know each other for a little while before they are placed in the same run and coop.

Once they’ve spent some time getting acquainted, we make the move and allow them to mingle a bit. Usually, we will supervise them together for a bit.

Don’t be alarmed if they work towards establishing their pecking order. As long as they aren’t being mean or picking on one another, its totally normal for them to work this out.

chickens getting to know each other, two hens next to a gate

Its fairly simple to get them introduced to each other. It just takes a little bit of time and patience. But that’s basically all we do when we add new hens or baby chicks to our current flock.

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